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Sustainability Service Learning as a Mechanism for Acquiring New Knowledge

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Sustainability in Civil Engineering Education: Service Learning, Capstone Integration, Student Affect and Rating Systems

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33330

Download Count

3

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Paper Authors

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Deborah Besser P.E. University of St. Thomas

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Dr. Besser, PE, ENV SP, holds a PhD in education and MS and BS in civil engineering. Currently, she is civil engineering chair and Center for Engineering Education director. Previous experience includes faculty positions in diverse universities where she has taught a variety of coursework including steel, timber, concrete and masonry design, construction, engineering economy, engineering graphics and engineering education. Prior to teaching, Dr. Besser, a licensed engineer, was a design engineer with HNTB-CA, where she worked on seismic retrofits and new design of high profile transportation structures.

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Travis Welt University of St. Thomas

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Travis Welt is an Assistant Professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his BS from Seattle University, and MS and PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include welding qualification, rapid-deployment disaster relief, and engineering education.

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Hannah Dasyam University of St. Thomas

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Hannah Dasyam is an undergraduate student in the Civil Engineering program at the University of St. Thomas. Her research involves aspects of experiential learning to improve students' abilities to acquire and apply new knowledge. Interests include environmental engineering, sustainable development and the Envision rating system.

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Tripp Shealy Virginia Tech

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Tripp Shealy is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.

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Abstract

Sustainability Service Learning as a Mechanism for Acquiring New Knowledge Abstract Evolving infrastructure needs of our society calls for development of engineering students who have “an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge using appropriate learning strategies,” as stated in ABET student outcome 7 [1]. Setting and evaluating this student outcome requires responsive teaching-learning strategies centered on identifying and articulating how to acquire and apply learning strategies to engineering students. Incorporation of basic learning theories and learning strategies within engineering course contexts has the added benefit of deepening students understanding of their role in learning routine course material, as well as preparing students to anticipate and self-identify future learning needs and learning strategies. While the research base on teaching engineering instructors about educational theory is expanding, the research base on how engineering instruction might teach engineering students learning theory and strategies is an emerging area with the potential for rich development. Parallel to an emerging area of engineering learning theory is an emerging area focused on the role of sustainability in infrastructure design. Sustainable infrastructure design and resiliency will continue to evolve and engineering graduates will need to acquire and apply new knowledge in this area as theoretical content and practical applications emerge. Practitioners are meeting the needs of sustainable infrastructure design in diverse ways; so it follows that understanding case studies of sustainable infrastructure design provides innovation and insights as they occur. Service learning, a community responsive expression of experiential learning, is a reciprocal learning framework which provides access to practitioner’s innovations alongside an opportunity for students to strengthen engineering design and analysis skills, with the potential for substantive community impact [2]. The threads of learning theory, sustainable infrastructure design and service learning are braided together in this case study to provide students with 1. access to tools for identifying new knowledge needed, 2. an understanding of the complexities of sustainable infrastructure design and 3. a service learning opportunity with a non-profit developer. The purpose of this research is to add to the service learning case study literature with a course based project which blends educational theory and sustainable infrastructure assessment. The Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) Envision rating system is used as the mechanism for providing the service learning partner with an infrastructure sustainability rating and students with access to the design professional experience. In a semester long project, students develop learning skills, with a focus on sustainability by working with a non-profit developer to document Envision credits for a transit based development. Assessment of this teaching-learning strategy is based on an ISI Envision submittal prepared by students, learning assessment, and assessment of student motivation and learning.

Besser, D., & Welt, T., & Dasyam, H., & Shealy, T. (2019, June), Sustainability Service Learning as a Mechanism for Acquiring New Knowledge Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33330

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